Lot’s of news to report here from the Butterfly Den,
A couple of weeks ago I received my annual invitation to my family reunion I have not attended since I transitioned out of respect for the event and up till now only my immediate family know about me. this has been a source of great anxiety for me as I do love my family and still desire to be a part of their lives,but as always there is that gripping fear of being rejected by people I have loved all my life,so this year I made a decision to address this issue head on and penned a letter to my cousin who sends the invitations:
Dearest Donnie; received my invitation for the Medley family reunion and just as last year it gives me time to pause and ask myself what should I do.
It makes me sad that I can’t be a part of the lives I so dearly love in this world, I didn’t attend last year’s event out of respect for all of you who have loved me all my life it is not my wish to disrupt this wonderful event that my family has each year so I chose not to come in spite of the fact that my heart and soul wishes I could.
You see I have struggled with a genetic disorder all my life and have only in the past many years come to grips with it and finally sought therapy and treatment, through the VA, There is no way to say this easily I’m just going to say it and hope you will understand I’m a transgendered person, I tried all my life to understand and suppress this but it’s not something that goes away it happens before you are born and cannot be changed, as I grew up from an early age I knew I was a girl but it wasn’t well understood how this occurred back then.
In more recent times it has been studied and much is known about this now it has been a plague to my life for nearly 60 yrs. I just always wished I had been born normal and been able to live life like anyone else but that was not to be.
It was not until all my parents were gone that I made a choice to act on what my doctors had confirmed many years ago I suffer from gender dysphoria, it resulted in a lot of horrible things that hurt my life because I just couldn’t understand why I was this way, after years of therapy and finally making a conscious choice to have a more peaceful end to my life I have now for about five years undergone hormone replacement therapy and finally have found true happiness in my life.
This decision has of course alienated me from many who have loved me all my life as most don’t or won’t, try to and understand this phenomenon, my immediate family brothers sisters and my son never missed a beat and continue to love and support me in life, as well as some of my cousins I’m in hope that you will support my decision as well and understand this difficult road I have traveled for so long.
Please pass along my love to all who attend this year and feel free to share this letter in hopes that next year I can attend without being the focus of the event but just another Medley.
I have legally changed my name and now live as who I should always have been,
Your cousin Mike Iles now (Shelle Marie Iles)
Above is the letter today I received this wonderful reply:
Mike, Sorry but you are still Mike to me, give me some time, Your letter was heartfelt and enlightening. I personally can’t imagine what you have been going through for the past decades. I am enclosing this response to Tim as well, why – I can’t remember very many childhood memories when either you or Tim were not a part of my life. We were the “Three Musketeers” Now that we are the “Two Musketeers and One Musketshe” is completely immaterial to me. I can still remember some spankings that I got that were directly because of you or Tim. I was usually the innocent one of the group……..Yea Right…….
I gave this letter to Mom, who lives with us last night and simply asked her to read it and give me her thoughts. Her exact comments were as my thoughts almost exactly – “ I can’t image what he has been going through over the past years. It is immaterial who he is, he/she is still a Medley. He should come to the Reunion”. This from a 93 year old who has seen it all.
I will definitely read the letter at the Reunion if you are not there. If you decide to come (Please Do) I will still read the letter to the family. It is important to you that this information is understood. I can’t guarantee how everyone will respond (remember it is the Medley Family) but myself and Mom will great you with open arms.
Blood is still Blood and the older we get in years the better we understand that the ONLY thing that really matters is FAMILY, Friends and Health. Everything else is superficial.
Tim, the letter was written in a Red Font and was had to scan, I hope you can read it, it is worth the read…
So, I am Still just Donny and Tim is still Tim. Mike is now Shelle and I still Love you Man. Or Woman, Shit now I am confused.
Hope to see you Sunday, Really……
I replied and agreed to attend this year,for me this a long anticipated moment in my life and still a very frightening thing as well,I expect I will lose some and some will continue to love me but this is a milestone I avoided for far too long and it will be a weight lifted off this heavily burdened heart I have lived with for so many years.